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Tuition and Financial Aid FAQ

Updated February 23, 2021

No, however, for all undergraduate students, the house activity fee of $302, which is part of the students fees, has been waived for the 2020-21 academic year. Students will receive a credit on their Bursar bill for the amount billed each term. For new incoming students, the $500 orientation fee has been eliminated.

Caltech's tuition and fees for the 2020-21 academic year were established in advance of the outbreak of the global pandemic. While the Institute has not reduced tuition, we have increased investment in academic and support services, and extended our commitment to students with financial need. In an effort to support families whose circumstances may have changed as a result of the pandemic, the Financial Aid Office will review aid appeals and consider new aid applications throughout the academic year.

We recognize that there are many differences in how colleges and universities have responded to the pandemic, and these include the approach to tuition and fees.

The pandemic has not changed our belief in the value of a Caltech degree. Nor has it changed our commitment to investing the time and resources necessary to provide the highest possible educational experience.

The mandatory student fees support specific areas such as the Health Center, the Caltech Y, and ASCIT and other student organizations. A portion also supports undergraduate student activities across the Institute. Since these programs continue to operate during the pandemic, the fees continue to appear on your students' bill. The Institute has refunded and is not charging the house fee, since students are not residing in their houses and cannot participate in those campus-based activities.

While some student programming associated with fees may have diminished, others have required significant new investment and support in order to pivot to the particular conditions of remote learning. It is worth pointing out too that while the student fees are collected to support these programs, the expenses involved go well beyond the fees themselves, and Caltech contributes to support a range of student activities within Student Affairs and across the campus.

If you are on Caltech financial aid, typically there are three different room and board budgets we use to package aid; on-campus, off-campus, or at home with family. Given this pandemic, we decided that this element of the budget should be consistent regardless of where you live. This amount is not on top of the current budget but rather replaces the standard campus living allowance regardless of where you reside during the school year. If you do not live on campus and your aid covers room/board, it is likely you will have a credit on your Bursar account and can request a refund.

All students will receive a credit of $100.67 on their Bursar bill each term as a refund of the house activity portion of the student fees.

In the 2020-2021 academic year, Work Study awards will still be factored into financial aid packages, and remote opportunities will be available for students to earn their work expectation. Please note however if a student is living abroad and has work study in their current aid package, we will have to revise their financial aid as work study cannot be utilized outside the country due to foreign tax and other employment implications.

We understand the challenges that many families are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we're committed to making a Caltech education accessible to all students. Please contact financial aid if you have questions or concerns.